#PrayForNigeria: Nigerians Perpetual Resolution
No doubt, Africa most populous country is in great danger, the death toll continues to augment as blood is splattered across the country. From suicide bombing by Boko Haram to communal clashes and the Herdsman attack on villagers in the Northern part of the country.
The silence witnessed prior to the recent gruesome attack in Plateau was unprecedented – some say each man to his own – going by their daily activities. This sound more like a street creed spreading across the street like the clear cloud humming before it rain.
What more could have to change the narratives, if not a massive public outcry – public anger – on government ineptitude and lackadaisical attitude towards the security of lives and properties of her citizens?
To be candid, when a politician gallivant around with a retinue of police officers and armed personnel and stomached security votes, house his family in a safe haven and expose citizens who entrust him with the power to oversee the affairs of the state to terror attacks, such questions need to ask rather than sending our supplications when incidents occur.
The killings and the aftermath are easily predicted, more like a routine without any proactive step afterwards. The media – both print and online stocked their pages with news of different attacks and varying numbers of victims which can only be ascertained by the families, followed by condemnation by public officials – from the legislative officials to the executives.
Then the condolences keep sprawling in from different angles only on paper with nothing to show forth. After which families are displaced and children graduated into anguish with the loss of their parents and government set up a committee that will eventually come up with a reported drop on that will be dropped on a shelf for the clouds of dust and cobwebs to occupy.
Perhaps we should revisit the past years and see why we should move on from the mere hashtag of #PrayForNigeria.
#PrayForNigeria – 2014
Shortly after the attack by the insurgent group Boko Haram at the Abuja Urban Mass Transport Company garage, Nyanya that left scores of people in 2014, the world woke up to a sad news. Families were left in shock and dead bodies littered the street, the attackers struck in broad daylight and flung the country into an unusual mood – it was that of wailing and mourning.
Shortly after the attack four years ago, myriads of Nigerians flood the social media with the #PrayForNigeria. It moved on to a new level as scores of religious leaders initiate prayer sessions in the various temple. A certain group – Voice of the Prosecuted – was even formed with a new website to prayer for members who were victims of the Boko Haram attack.
Peter Okoye (PSquare), other lead acts in the music industry and prominent Nigerians were active on social media condemning the attack. Time seems to have been whisked away and things haven’t change.
#PrayForNigeria – 2015
As the year wound down, the mood change around November 2015. Suicide bombers were reported to have struck in the Yola, capital of Adamawa state causing 32 deaths and more than 80 injuries. This was a news many wouldn’t want to listen to as the deaths in the northern part of the country to increase as a result the attacks by the deadly terrorist group – Boko Haram.
Nigerians on social media resurrect the social media campaign. We resorted to our usual supplications and prayers on social media – #PrayForNigeria. It seems to have grown to become our way out without agitating for corresponding government action against the group.
Since the manifestation of Boko Haram in our social circle, many people have died as a result of the attacks from the group while the government officials continue to pilfer allocations meant security purpose.
In 2015 alone, over 2000 citizens lost their lives and properties in Boko Haram’s attack in Nigeria (reference). A number that has since swell up in subsequent years.
#PrayForNigeria – 2016/2017 (What has Changed?)
As years grow upon year, attacks became non-stop and government continue to pretend there’s no way out of this mess, #PrayForNigeria had already become a convention whenever lives are lost to deadly terrorists that threaten the country’s peace.
In 2016, a Pentecostal church in Nigeria organized a rally across it branches tagged – Prayer Rally for Nigeria coupled with the continuous tweets by Nigerians on the social space. 2017 was another year of prayers as the group march across Lagos state and end up at the government house Alausa, Ikeja.
Most notable of the series of prayers was the one held on Saturday, 23rd September 2017. It was organized by Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) South Africa declared a day for Nigerian, praying peace and tranquillity in the country.
Prayer Without Work!
For how long are we going to pray for Nigeria? When the government have decided to shovel a heap of blame on the political adversary without any action. Despite billions of naira that have been budgeted by the federal government for security, none have found its way to the right path to address the perennial killings across the country.
While trial of Col. Sambo Dasuki who was arrested for allegedly diverting $2bn (£1.3bn) meant to fight insurgency still lingers, the current administration have also been in the midst of approving a controversial sum of $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account for the purchase of weapon to rearm the military in the fight against insurgency.
Our prayers are important in the face of bombing and attacks, however, a stricter and well-stocked arsenal would have averted these dangers especially in a country where soldiers argued that terrorists are well equipped than them.
Statistics from the Global Terrorism Index, have also shown how killings have reduced in some countries and region by cutting off the revenue sources of these terrorists while the tale has not changed in Africa’s most populous nation.
In 2017, ISIL world deadliest terrorist group had their revenue reduced from over US$81million per month to US$16millon per month through proactive measures by intelligence officers. With the sources and sponsors of these attacks in Nigeria still unknown as claimed by security operatives and the government, the end to this terror seems to be far from sight.
As we continue to mourn and fuss on the streets and social media, Nigerians need to ask questions and call for reform of the country’s security architecture. This would address the poor security measures and government body language towards insurgency in the especially in the Northern part of the country before pray for Nigeria become a norm.